Editorial|Do not let pressure, stress of holidays take over

Human nature these days seems to come with a predisposition to focus on the negative aspects of life. Every day, people talk about how negative the news is and how much they hate to hear about wars, saddness and crime, yet not much is done in our personal lives to counteract that negativity.

That way of thinking does not take a break for the holiday season, unfortunately, and the time tends to lose all its magic for many families because of the stress to keep up appearances for family and friends. The focus turns to dreading the cooking, cleaning and shopping instead of enjoying the spirit and taking time to breathe.

The stress that has become associated with the holidays is something many despise. Thanksgiving and the December holiday season have become a sort of contest to “outdo oneself” from the year prior, which is so far from the point. Making a perfect turkey with all the fixings, giving the perfect presents, impressing family members, get rid of it all. Put the expectations to the side and get back to the basics: Love those who surround you, enjoy their company and be thankful.

Be thankful for the beauty all around you, for the clean Puget Sound air and the trees and crisp breezes. Be thankful for the calm of the island, for the fact that violent crime is nearly non-existent and that the nights are quiet. While the world is rocking with the turmoil of terrorist attacks and intolerance toward those of other races, nationalities, religions and sexual orientations, Vashon enjoys an inclusive atmosphere marked by seemingly rare occurrances of judgement or discrimination.

As tensions flare around the world, it’s important to recognize that, despite the perception that the holidays need to be a big, stressful to do, we have it easy compared to many. We have nothing to flee from, our lives are not at risk every day, and, as mentioned before, we’re free to believe what we choose without fearing reprisal.

As you prepare for your Thanksgiving feasts and the holidays beyond, try to move past expectations of grandeur and return to the roots of the season. Go for a walk, take in the surroundings and be thankful; enjoy your family and have conversations not marked by buzzing or ringing cell phones, and do not let giving gifts replace the simplest things in life: health, safety and the ability to gather with family and friends.


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